For a book lover, there is no greater joy than receiving a book for a gift. Two weeks ago, when I was idly browsing the net, I read about an initiative by Blogadda, a prominent Indian blogging network to review a book. Mostly, I have no faith in contests which promise you the moon, and keep you waiting expectantly till you realise that you have been had,and then end up disappointed! I submitted my form, but a bit skeptically.Surprise surprise, five days down the line, I received a brown paper wrapped parcel, with the book “Six degrees, Game of Blogs”. Well, it sort of rekindled my faith in santa claus and the like! My mid week became more bearable with the thought of a reading weekend !
Well, even before discussing whether the book is interesting or not, I would like to say that the story of how the book came about is as novel as it is interesting.The book is not authored by a lone author. Instead, it is the result of an experiment by blogadda, to collaborate bloggers across India, and come up with stories! About three hundred bloggers participated in the contest, which was judged by authors of the caliber of Ashwin Sanghi, Ravi Subramaniam, Meghna Pant etc.. They picked three teams of ten bloggers each, and gave them a set of characters to build their stories upon. The book is a compilation of three such stories which revolve around the same five characters:
Shekhar Dutta, a stay at home dad who also happens to be a freelance writer staying in Mumbai. Tara Dutta,who is Shekhar’s wife and a media professional. Roohi Dutta is Shekhar and Tara’s 9 year old daughter.Jennifer Joseph is a Christian photographer who stays in Kochi and Cyrus Daruwala is a law student staying in Delhi.
but from different perspectives.
- The Awakening. (By Team By Lines).
This is a sci fi take on these characters. I have never been a fan of science fiction, and this is probably the first one which I have read. The premise is about how the family is disrupted by the arrival of aliens, who predict the doom of earth and mankind. The story revolves around how certain changes take place in the family, which help in saving the earth. The story started off with an air of mystery which it could not quite keep up with. In the end, I felt, it sort of fizzled off tamely. But, as I am not a sci fi fiction expert, this may be a biased review! Basically, this story made me realize, that I could actually go through a book with sci fi theme and enjoy it too!
- The Entangled Lives ( by team Potliwale Baba)
This story belonged to my favorite genre- a murder mystery. The characters are well etched, especially that of the police inspector. He feels so real. Someone you cannot like,but also cannot ignore because of the power he holds! The story is about a family whose maid gets murdered when there are five people in the house. The twists keep you guessing and the ending is different from what you would expect. I was more inclined towards the story because of the psychological angle, and how well the authors have managed to handle it. Usually, such themes are not well researched and make me cringe at the way they are explained. But this one was!
- Missing –A journey within.( By team Tete-a –ten)
This story is mainly about human relationships and emotions. It gives a sensitive description of how emotions play out in stressful situations, the confusion and difficulties faced by homosexuals in our society and goes with the idea that, life will somehow work out in the end. It deals with a couple whose daughter goes missing. The crisis brings them together. The missing girl meets a boy, who is a homosexual, who has been abused by his seniors in college. How the girl reconciles with her parents, and the boy with his lover forms the crux of the story. Though the story is quite straight forward, it manages to capture your attention.
All in all, I liked the book because:
- I found the concept new and experimentative, making me realise that no task is difficult when you put your mind to it. That ten people, who are in different parts of India could weave together a story by interacting only by internet and phones was impressive.
- The book is an easy read. The stories keep you gripped and do not drag along without a strong thread.
- Most importantly, I was introduced to thirty new blogs which I can follow and read up!
The only thing that left me confused was what the “Six degrees” stood for. Do read the book and solve this mystery for me!
Final rating: 3.5/5